Curated by Carmen Robertson

Norval Morrisseau (1931–2007) is considered by many to be the Mishomis, or grandfather, of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada. His life has been sensationalized in newspapers and documentaries while his unique artistic style has pushed the boundaries of visual storytelling. The creator of the Woodland School of art and a prominent member of the Indian Group of Seven, Morrisseau is best known for using brilliant colours and portraying traditional stories, spiritual themes, and political messages in his work. For more on Norval Morrisseau read Carmen Robertson’s Norval Morrisseau: Life & Work.


Dr. Carmen Robertson is the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Art and Material Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa. An Indigenous scholar, her research centres on contemporary Indigenous arts and constructions of Indigeneity in popular culture. Her most recent book is Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media.

  • Untitled (Thunderbird Transformation)

    Untitled (Thunderbird Transformation) c.1958–60

  • Self-Portrait Devoured by Demons

    Self-Portrait Devoured by Demons 1964

  • Artist in Union with Mother Earth

    Artist in Union with Mother Earth 1972

  • Water Spirit

    Water Spirit 1972

  • Indian Jesus Christ

    Indian Jesus Christ 1974

  • The Gift

    The Gift 1975

  • Man Changing into Thunderbird

    Man Changing into Thunderbird 1977

  • The Storyteller: The Artist and His Grandfather

    The Storyteller: The Artist and His Grandfather 1978

  • Androgyny

    Androgyny 1983

  • Observations of the Astral World

    Observations of the Astral World c.1994

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